All the Dead Ones

 Last year, IndieLisboa put up a program called Brazil Entranced with many important names of the emergent new and politically engaged Brazilian cinema, among them Your Bones and Your Eyes by Caetano Gotardo. In 2018 we saw Good Manners by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra. Now, Gotardo and Dutra together give us a story of two families and the hauntings of slavery and colonization, in a São Paulo city at the turn of the twentieth century.

Maria, a nun, moves forward on dark stairs, a torch in her hand. She is scared, as if something is watching her, lurking in the dark. The scene looks like a pure archetype of horror but nothing, strictly nothing is going to be truly as expected in All the Dead Ones: neither the supernatural film that we imagine, nor the period film that seems so undoubtedly to take form. The feature takes place at a tipping point, in the twilight of the 19th century, during an era of societal change for Brazil. But again, change is not carried out so clearly, in the country as in the rich home of the Soares family. Slavery has been abolished in Brazil for ten years, but what remains of it in social structures, in class relations? For the Soares family, Europe is “the origin of everything”, Africa is a great indistinct magma, the tone is that kind of paternalism that the colonists imagine benevolent and magnanimous. All the Dead Ones observes whiteness and its hegemony in an unprecedented way in a world that seems to be moving forward … but is it really moving? For who? Released a few years ago, Caetano Gotardo’s first feature film was called O Que se Move, literally meaning what moves. This is a title that could have suited this too, in a film where we feel a world in turmoil, but where we also observe another which appears frozen. (Mickael Gaspar)

Your Bones and Your Eyes

João lives in São Paulo. He goes through a series of encounters with people like his long-time friend Irene; his boyfriend Álvaro; Matias, a young man he meets in the subway and has a sexual experience with, among others, some acquainted, some unknown.

Let the Storm

Passion and love are told of by two intersecting relationships and a sad ballad: Merencória.

O Que Se Move

Three stories with no apparent connection between them, with only one thing in common: a deep dramatic observation of motherhood. Trying to fit The Moving Creatures in a cinematographic drawer is letting a film that is not afraid not to fit in formal territory slip away. Caetano Gotardo was fearless and jumped all boundaries to explore territories that interested him. In this almost Greek tragedy in III acts, the monstrosity of each action is totally overwhelmed by maternal love and shaped by romanticism. Cruelty is, indeed, in daily gestures, in the return to banality after an event that destroys all foundations. (M. M.)